Life can be like a restoration process. But what has to happen before the restoration process can begin? Demolition.
Oh it’s so messy and ugly, but so completely necessary in order to begin rebuilding.
This morning I was reminded of one of the most crucial steps in my journey that tore down a wall and set me onto my path. It was a divine opportunity that led to a decision over 12 or 13 years ago –one of the most crucial decisions of my entire life.
Forgiveness of others, specially a certain person in my life, and repentance and forgiveness on my part. Dying to self.
Interesting that this step was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my entire life. I am not saying that lightly.
If it weren’t for the help of others, being covered in their prayers, and the mercy and grace of God… I don’t think my feet would have carried me that night. I know I didn’t feel myself walking after the first step, I was carried to do this thing…. forgiveness and repentance.
I remember asking the Lord that night, “Can You just make me do this? Would that work? Can you just make me do this because I know I need to do this thing, but it’s the hardest thing in my life right now and it’s feeling impossible for me to physically make my legs walk and the words come out of my mouth in order to do this thing. I don’t think I can even trust myself to carry it through, Lord!”
I knew that it didn’t exactly work that way, but honestly I didn’t know how to even pray about it at that time, I knew that it was a step I had to take to move forward in life, I knew it was crucial, and I knew it was very much “impossible” for me.
That night as I got into my car to go and do this thing, I cried out to the Lord, over and over, “HELP ME TO DO THIS BECAUSE I CAN’T”
On the drive to where I was going, I remember being able to so clearly separate out what was my own will, the sense of Lord leading me more urgently than anything I’ve ever experienced… and the enemy trying to keep me from it. I could feel the extreme pull of it all.
The thing was, I could have given up at any moment, my own will was so very strong… that was the thing that was the hardest to fight. It was a combination of “I can’t believe I am doing this, how am I doing this? Help me Lord! I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this. But I am doing this. Oh how I want this to just go away, but I know I need to do this more than anything in my entire life!”
Even though I prayed and asked the Lord to “make me do this” because I thought it would be the easier way. He didn’t “make me” –I had to start it, I had to make my mind up to do this thing, to set foot out of the car and onto the ground, and I really don’t remember taking the rest of those steps. Sure felt like the closest thing to floating I’ve ever experienced. I’m not even kidding. He carried me the rest of the way.
He gave me the tools to begin tearing that wall down, He lit a fire of urgency in me. But I had be the one to start the demolition process. I had to pick up the sledgehammer with my own will, my own two hands. Once I demolished my own stubborn will and started on this “impossible” wall, then it came crumbling down, somehow.
Did it feel like torture in that moment of decision? The mix of the urgency of the Lord, the enemy doing all that he could do to stop me, and my own stubborn will. Yes, it was almost more than I could bear.
Was it worth it?
Well, let’s just say I don’t know where I would be in life, or if I would even be alive if I hadn’t made that step.
But what came before this moment of knowing that I needed to forgive and repent? There had to be something, right? How did I get to the point of even being willing to think about doing something that impossible for me?
A still small voice that led me to write about this person in my prayer journal one day.
A still small voice that led me to pray about the situation.
A still small voice that led me to pray for this person (boy was that a hard thing at that point in my life — sounds horrible but it was the reality of where I was!)
A still small voice that led me to go to a church conference where they just happened to be talking about forgiveness.
It all started there.
Because He wasn’t letting me go. Because He loves me. Because I am His.
And what happened after the forgiveness and repentance part?
Oh it was very uncomfortable. No my circumstances didn’t change overnight. Things didn’t look different right away. Yes, it was a process. Oh it was so uncomfortable.
But things started moving forward from there. Slowly, but surely. A restoration process began. It’s still ongoing…
Don’t let the impossible things stop you. Don’t let the looks of it turn you away. When the Lord leads you to the “impossible” things, it’s because He wants to do something powerful in your life. He wants to rebuild something wonderful in your life that you can’t even imagine!
He’s leading us into demolition that leads to restoration and redemption. It’s a divine opportunity to rebuild, another chance for us to choose life and not death. Another chance for us to get up and get moving so that we can finish this thing well.